1 When we care for someone else, we try to put them first. We put ourselves in second place and we think about the person we care for and what they really need. Someone who was really good at doing this, in fact he did it all the time! was Jesus. And in the story we’re about to hear, we can see exactly who Jesus cares for.
In this story, each time I say the word ‘care’ or ‘cares’ can you all shout back ‘Yeah!’ and punch the air?
Do you care? (Yeah!)
2 Tell the story:
When bad things happen, it’s sometimes hard to remember how much God cares (yeah!) And for Jairus, a terrible thing had happened. His daughter who was only twelve was very very poorly. ‘I must find someone who can make her better,’ he thought desperately. ‘Someone who really cares (yeah!) about children. I know! I’ll go and find my friend Jesus! I think he’s come back to town today.’
It wasn’t hard to find Jesus. He was in the middle of a huge crowd of people who had run out to welcome him home.
‘Jesus!’ Jairus called out, kneeling at Jesus’ feet. ‘Please come and make my daughter better. I think she’s dying.’ ‘I know you care’, (yeah!) he thought.
Jesus cared (yeah!) so much that he didn’t waste any time. He set out straight away with the crowd pressing round him until they nearly squashed him. ‘Thank God!’ thought Jairus, hurrying towards his house. ‘I’ve got a friend who cares!’ (Yeah!)
But then Jesus stopped. He said ‘Who touched me?’
Peter said, ‘Lord, lots of people are touching you! It’s a real squash in these streets!’
Jairus was desperate to get Jesus to his daughter. ‘Doesn’t Jesus care?’ (yeah!) he thought.
But Jesus said, ‘I know someone touched me – I know power went out of me.’
‘I don’t care! (yeah!) thought Jairus. ‘I just want Jesus to make my daughter well again!
But a woman came out, looking very embarrassed, and told everyone how she had had a problem with her tummy for twelve years, but when she touched the edge of Jesus’ cloak, she was better straight away.’
‘I don’t care!’ (yeah!) thought Jairus miserably. ‘My problem’s worse than that!’
Jesus said to the woman, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’
But as he was speaking, someone came from Jairus’ house. They said. ‘Your daughter’s dead. Don’t bother Jesus any more.’
The daughter Jairus cared for (yeah!) so much was dead! By stopping to care (yeah!) for the old lady, Jairus thought, Jesus shows he doesn’t care (yeah!) about my daughter after all!
But Jesus did care (yeah!) for Jairus. He said quickly, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just believe and she will be healed.’
Jesus and Jairus and some of the other disciples went up to the girl’s room. Some people were already wailing and weeping, trying to show how much they cared (yeah!). But Jesus said, ‘Stop that noise. She’s not dead, she’s asleep.’ They just laughed at him, as they knew she was dead. Jairus felt as if he would never care (yeah!) about anything else again.
But Jesus took the girl by the hand and said, ‘Get up, little girl,’ and straight away she stood up, right as rain again.
Jairus felt bubbling over with happiness again. Jesus did care (yeah!) after all. He didn’t just care (yeah!) for the woman in the street with the tummy problem who was quite old. He didn’t just care (yeah!) for Jairus who was a grown up. He didn’t just care (yeah!) for Jairus’ daughter who was a child. Jairus understood something new about Jesus. He thought happily: ‘Jesus cares (yeah!) for absolutely everyone!’
Let’s pray an eyes-open finger prayer today. Hold up your two index fingers, one behind the other. The one in front – the number one finger – is you and the one behind is someone who needs your care today. It might be one of your friends, or someone you don’t like in your class or it might be your teacher or your lunchtime supervisor. As I say the words of the prayer, can you slowly bring the front finger round to behind the other one, so that instead of you being number one, the other person becomes number one.
Dear Jesus, please help me to care for other people today. Help me to put them first and put myself in second place, just like you did all the time. Amen